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A · Portrait · of · the · Anthropologist · as · a · Young · Man


An Exercise In Academic Autoeroticism

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And splendour, created consciousness, the firstborn what
the ordinary course of social conduct is.' son of prishata,
the kings assembled from diverse seems to have known only
four fonts made of lead, mercy of our god unto our church
and land who, mark of gratitude for the time and affection
expended an athletic encounter with bare arms. Even as come
with rama, desiring to become spectators.
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This is how a 'link to buy VIAGRA' email ends:

Lonely, and disheartened, and miserable. There of stone and
battleaxes and other weapons and away, forsaking that sleeping
wife of his. Reft is there on earth like me? I am the daughter
of him to take this step, and the brilliant example where
lights were gleaming in the deep recesses your honor, i
said, so suddenly and so bitterly also sometimes takes the
shape of the former..

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Four more papers and moving out to move in.

And I still have the gall to be happy.

C'est la vie <3

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Anthropologists wanted. No experience actually necessary. Make more than most poets.
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Utilitarianism.
A people who conceive life to be the pursuit of happiness must be chronically unhappy.

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Relevance.
I don’t know about Britain, but in America many graduate students in Anthropology are totally uninterested in other times and places. They say we should study our own current problems, all other ethnography being impossible anyhow, as it is just our “construction of the other.”
So if they get their way, and this becomes the principle of anthropological research, fifty years hence no one will pay the slightest attention to the work they’re doing now. Maybe they’re onto something.

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Orientalism.
(dedicated to Professor Gellner)
In Anthropology there are some things that are better left un-Said.

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The word “culture” has become common fare. For
the present generation it does much of the work that
was formerly assigned to “psychology” or again
“ethos.” We used to talk about “the psychology of
Washington (D.C.)” or “the ethos of the university;”
now it is “the culture of Washington” and “the
culture of the university.” It is also “the culture of
the cigar factory,” “the culture of drug addiction,”
“the culture of adolescence,” “the culture of the
Anthropology meetings,” etc. For a long while I was
worried about this apparent debasement of the
anthropological object. One day I realized that
Economics is still going as a discipline despite that
everyone talks about “economics,” and “economies,”
Sociology likewise survives all the uses of “social.”
And recently I saw the following poster in a hotel
elevator: “50 hotels, 22 countries, one philosophy.”
You think we got troubles with “culture?” What
about Philosophy? Everybody’s got a philosophy. It
didn’t kill Philosophy.

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How to Solve the World's Problems.
There is a sure, one word solution to all the world's
current problems: Atheism.

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The Chinese Restaurant Syndrome
Why are well-meaning Westerners so concerned
that the opening of a Colonel Sanders in Beijing
means the end of Chinese culture? A fatal
Americanization. Yet we have had Chinese restaurants
in America for over a century, and it hasn’t
made us Chinese. On the contrary, we obliged the
Chinese to invent chop suey. What could be more
American than that? French fries?

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Some Laws of Civilization.

First law of civilization: All airports are under construction.

Second law of civilization: I'm in the wrong line.

Third law of civilization: Snacks sealed in plastic bags cannot be opened, even using your teeth.

Fourth law of civilization: The human gene whose discovery is announced in the New York Times— there's one every day, a gene du jour—is for some bad trait, like schizophrenia, kleptomania, or pneumonia. We have no good genes.

Fifth law of civilization: Failing corporate executives and politicians always resign to spend more time with their families.

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Postmodern Terrorism
One of the more poignant aspects of the current postmodernist mood is the way it seems to lobotomize some of our best graduate students, to stifle their creativity for fear of making some interesting structural connection, some relationship between cultural practices, or a comparative generalization. The only safe essentialism left to them is that there is no order to culture.

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Economic Development.
Developing countries, with American help, never develop.

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Whatever Happened to “Late Capitalism”?
It became neo-liberalism.

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The Political Economy of the Humanities
Anthropologists have become the working-class of
the Cultural Studies movement. Relegated to the
status of ethnographic proles in the academic division
of labor, they are the ones condemned to long
days, months and years of dirty and uncomfortable
(field) work. Their minds numbed by laboring on
obdurate cultural realities, they leave higher theory
to English professors. These cult studs are the
thinking class, an emancipated (and emancipating)
literati, while anthropologists are content to be the
subaltern clients of their hegemonic discourses.
Anthropologists of the world unite…
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Pastoralism Tutorial (Dean)
Activist Anthropology Tutorial (Dean) (fersure)
The Anthropology of Power: Tutorial (Baram)
Pre-Thesis Tutorial (Baram) (fersure)
Language and Politics (Flakne)
Philosophy of Affect: Friendship and Beyond (Flakne) (unlikely)
Social Theory (Brain)
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So I turn on my computer today and all my bookmarks are gone - all of them - thats like 500+ anarchist websites plus grad school programs and anthropology sites.

Fuck Fuck Fuck

I hate the vulnerability of electronic data.

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The Spanish war and other events in 1936-37 turned the scale and thereafter I knew where I stood. Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, as I understand it. It seems to me nonsense, in a period like our own, to think that one can avoid writing of such subjects. Everyone writes of them in one guise or another. It is simply a question of which side one takes and what approach one follows. And the more one is conscious of one's political bias, the more chance one has of acting politically without sacrificing one's aesthetic and intellectual integrity.

What I have most wanted to do throughout the past ten years is to make political writing into an art. My starting point is always a feeling of partisanship, a sense of injustice. When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, ‘I am going to produce a work of art’. I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing. But I could not do the work of writing a book, or even a long magazine article, if it were not also an aesthetic experience. Anyone who cares to examine my work will see that even when it is downright propaganda it contains much that a full-time politician would consider irrelevant. I am not able, and do not want, completely to abandon the world view that I acquired in childhood. So long as I remain alive and well I shall continue to feel strongly about prose style, to love the surface of the earth, and to take a pleasure in solid objects and scraps of useless information. It is no use trying to suppress that side of myself. The job is to reconcile my ingrained likes and dislikes with the essentially public, non-individual activities that this age forces on all of us.

From George Orwell's 'Why I Write'
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